Despite key improvements during Néstor Kirchner's presidency, Argentine democracy remains vulnerable to crisis. The near collapse of the party system and weakness of political and economic institutions continue to threaten stability.
Authoritarian pushback continued to affect key regions and countries in 2007, but the courage, energy, and creativity that democrats continued to show gives reason to think that their cause has brighter days ahead.
Do young democracies have to "deliver the goods" economically in order to win political legitimacy in their citizens' eyes? Public opinion data from Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Arab world suggest some fascinating answers.
In Africa today, investment flows in and civil societies grow stronger, yet many of the continent's leaders continue to behave autocratically, defending their privileges against the spread of law-based rule.
Despite sweeping political and constitutional changes in Africa, a notable feature of the ancien régime survives—the imperial presidency. African presidents may be term-limited, but they have not been tamed.
The legislature is emerging as a "player" in some African countries, though not in others. What is the relationship between legislative development and democratic consolidation in Africa?
Africa is a battleground between formal democratic institutions and rule by the will of the "big man." Civil society groups are waging this struggle, and technology is equipping them with surprising new tools.
Democracy assistance has been a growing priority for the United States since the end of the Cold War. The record shows that its focus goes well beyond elections and other procedural dimensions of democracy.
In recent years, European aid in support of political development has been on the rise. What kind of programs have these funds been supporting, and where are they being spent?
- Excerpt from Kosovo's Declaration of Independence from Serbia, which was approved by the Assembly of Kosovo on February 17.
- Excerpts from U.K. foreign secretary David Miliband's speech, "The Democratic Imperative," presented on February 12 as the Aung San Suu Kyi lecture at St. Hugh's College of Oxford University.
- The opening paragraphs of the February 28 power-sharing agreement between Kenyan president Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga, signed after extensive negotiations led by Kofi Annan to end the crisis sparked by the disputed December 27 presidential election.
- Excerpts from the January 6 statement, "Pakistan's Tipping Point," by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Benazir Bhutto's son, who was appointed chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party after his mother's assassination on December 27.